Stores are already gearing up for the busy holiday retail reason, when retailers bring in more than 40 percent of their revenue for the year.
Brands have already started preparing for the impact that the changing industry landscape will have on the holiday season — focusing on convenience and speed to make holiday shopping a good experience for consumers. About 76 percent of U.S. consumers expect theirs interactions with a brand to be easy, while 60 percent of shoppers ages 45 and under say they look online first, then buy products in brick-and-mortar stores.
Locking into these trends will help retailers address the landscape shift and keep sales up this holiday season, according to the report. The federation is encouraging retailers to produce quality over quantity, reward employees for relationship-building actions with customers, and use data insights to prioritize customers’ most enjoyable shopping experiences.
“Especially during peak holiday times, optimize in-store and online shopping experiences,” the report said. “Customers should be able to quickly navigate your brand, get through checkout and get on their way.”
Holiday retail sales during November and December 2016 increased 4 percent over 2015 to $658.3 billion, exceeding NRF’s forecast of $655.8 billion. The number includes $122.9 billion in non-store sales, which were up 12.6 percent over the year before. Consumers showed more confidence during the holiday season, and December was up 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted from November and 3.2 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
Stores are specifically targeting different age demographics, and found these are what consumers want out of their shopping experiences:
1. MILLENNIALS: Price and value are the most important factores for this group, and more than 71 percent of 25 to 34 year olds use their smartphone to look up product information while shopping in stores. “They also recognize the importance of both functional and emotional aspects of the shopping experience; both are represented in where and how they decide to shop,” the report found.
2. BABY BOOMERS: About 20 percent of all baby boomers want personalized offers through their mobile device, according to the report. Boomers place value on the functional attributes when they decide whether to buy an item or not. Boomers want to shop at retailers that give them: reliability, product quality, value for the money they’ve spent and a store that allows them to stay on budget.
3. Gen X: Generation X, those born roughly between the early 1960s to the early 1980s, are described as the “on-the-go generation,” and they want to see clear value for what they buy this holiday season. They are most likely to buy products that will make their busy lives even easier. About 40 percent of Gen Xers say a fast checkout is a key factor in where they’ll shop this holiday season.